“Screens Series Online: Gregory Kalliche” continues the New Museum’s Screens Series, a platform for the presentation of new video works by emerging contemporary artists. While we are closed to the public, we’re pleased to present The Greatest Arrogance (2016), originally screened as part of “Screens Series: Gregory Kalliche,” which was on view at the New Museum from July 18–September 24, 2017.
In Gregory Kalliche’s works, crossings between manmade and natural worlds occur in vibrant high definition. Riffing on the conventions of blockbuster movies and trailers, the videos are splashy affairs, with jump cuts, pulsing countdowns, and awesome catastrophes looming just around the corner. They conjure abundance: plants snake out of the ground, flowers erupt in full bloom, and droplets of water slide down poolside cocktail glasses. Elements buzz, chime, vanish, and reappear. Everything seems on the verge of toppling.
Often employing computer-generated imagery (CGI), Kalliche has a penchant for animating objects that can in turn be used to illustrate other things. Wooden blocks leap into formations that evoke Roman aqueducts and Mesopotamian temples; trembling gummy candies bend into the shape of Soviet sickles; a hand contorts to cast the shadow of a barking dog. Following the logic of childhood games, the joy is as much in watching everything come together as it is in seeing it fall apart—when, for example, the stacked blocks are gleefully smacked down.
The phenomenon, known as pareidolia, involves seeing faces and recognizable forms in utterly random things: clouds, stains, rocks, or spilled liquids, for instance. The Rorschach test capitalizes on this impulse, as do divination rituals that uncover meaning in the arrangement of tea leaves or coffee grounds, the flickering of candlelight or dripping wax. We want to see something familiar in even the most alien forms. Yet this kind of misrecognition can be perilous. Near the end of The Greatest Arrogance (2016), a fly joyfully darts toward alluring blue lights, which it mistakes for moonlight. Its elated ascent is followed by the sharp spark of the object of its desire: a bug zapper. In Kalliche’s universe, the end is always near.
“Screens Series: Gregory Kalliche” was curated by Sara O’Keeffe, former Associate Curator, Department of Education and Public Engagement.
Gregory Kalliche (b. 1984, Miami, FL) has exhibited works in solo and two person exhibitions at Interstate Projects, New York (2019); SIGNAL, New York (2018); ASHES/ASHES at Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco (2017); Knockdown Center, Queens (2016); MuseumofAmericabooks, Brooklyn (2016); Museum of Art at University of Maine (2013); and Public Fiction, Los Angeles (2013). His work was also included in group exhibitions at The Artist’s Institute, New York (2018); Avalanche, London (2016); Mama Shelter in conjunction with the Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2015); the Suzanne Geiss Company, New York (2014); and Arcadia Missa, London (2014).